Sleeping Yankees Fan Suing for $10 Million Would 'Possibly' Accept a 'Simple Apology' (Video)
UPDATED: Andrew Rector, who’s suing ESPN, MLB and the team tells NBC’s "Today" that comments made about his in-game nap were so "upsetting," they justified legal action.
A man who fell asleep during a Yankees-Red Sox game and had his nap mocked by the ESPN announcers covering the matchup was so upset that he filed a $10 million lawsuit against the channel, its commentators, Major League Baseball and the New York Yankees.
But what was it about the experience that justified such an extreme reaction, Today co-host Matt Lauer wondered as he interviewed the plaintiff, Andrew Rector, on Friday’s show.
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"Put yourself in my shoes," Rector said to Lauer. "How would you feel if you were broadcasted on TV all over the media? They put me on YouTube. People get to like it. It basically creates a public forum where people could comment. I mean, there’s so many derogatory comments about me that was caused by what they did."
Lauer wondered aloud why he didn’t just have a sense of humor about the incident, which received no coverage in the local papers and might be expected in a stadium with cameras everywhere, and laugh it off instead of taking legal action.
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"How I responded to it might’ve been a spur-of-the-moment thing, but at the end of the day, it’s still upsetting what they did," Rector said of the announcers’ comments. "I mean, there’s a line where you can cross what’s right and what’s wrong … I have a reputation as well. I mean, for them to sit there and make fun of somebody, I don’t see how that’s acceptable."
Rector also said he’s “not sure” what he wants to come out of the lawsuit, saying "a simple apology" might "possibly" be enough, but he also indicated that he’s uncertain what will happen with his case.
"Apparently, I have an interesting lawyer,” he said. "Hopefully over the next few days we’ll figure out how we’re planning to move forward, how we’re going to move forward with the whole case."
In response to the lawsuit, a representative for ESPN told The Hollywood Reporter in an email statement on Friday: "The comments attributed to ESPN and our announcers in his lawsuit were clearly not said in our telecast. His claims are without merit."